Agriculture is an important sector in many developing countries. Improvements in agriculture can increase food security in developing countries, which in turn helps people living in poverty. According to the World Bank, the transformation of the agricultural sector in the Philippines is essential for combating poverty. Programs like the Cacao Project play a huge role in tackling food insecurity in the Philippines.
The Cocoa Project is an initiative launched after Typhoon Nock-Ten in 2016, which swept the Bicol region of the Philippines and destroyed 80% of agricultural land in the San Fernando area alone. Many homes have been destroyed or damaged and the livelihoods of thousands of farmers have been destroyed. Louise Mabulo, Entrepreneur and Founder of the Cacao Project in the Philippines, said: “The Cacao Project creates sustainable and resilient commercial forests for our farmers with nature-based solutions to increase their resilience, improve their livelihoods and better support their families for sustainable success . “
The initiative aims to provide farmers with resources and training as well as cocoa seedlings and other short-term crops such as bok choy to improve agriculture and restore the livelihood of local farms. The Cacao project also aims to improve engagement among young people by educating teenagers in schools and universities about the importance of agriculture to prevent future food crises in the Philippines.
Another way to reduce food insecurity in the Philippines is through innovation in agriculture. The Smart Plant Production in Controlled Environments (SPICE) program developed the Philippines’ first state-funded smart farm in 2018. The SPICE program was created to promote sustainable agriculture and increase crop yields. Implementing techniques such as vertical farming, micropropagation, cryopreservation, and hydroponics can improve productivity, reduce manual labor, and create new business opportunities, thereby reducing unemployment in the Philippines.
In response to tackling food insecurity in the Philippines, Mabulo explains, “There is much room for improvement in our food system to maximize our resources and ensure a food-safe, equitable and sustainable society.” With initiatives like the Cacao Project, the Philippines are one step closer to food security for everyone.
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